For 250 years, French crystal brand Baccarat has excelled in its field. However, 18th March this year marked the company’s expansion into the world of hospitality – a market in which it will no doubt excel with similar precision.
As one would expect, crystal plays a significant part in the décor of the Baccarat. Perhaps the most striking feature piece is the 125ft wide corrugated crystalline curtain that masks the hotel façade. The hotel’s interiors – conceived by French design duo Gilles & Boissier – combine classic Parisian elegance with the contemporary midtown New York City aesthetic. Gilles & Boissier, alongside Starwood Capital, also commissioned several never-before-seen works from the Baccarat factories.
However, the subtle attraction of the hotel lies in its understated but intricate furnishings. Perambulating the length of the beautiful parquet wood flooring, strewn with woven rugs, one notes that the interior reflects the opulence of the Baccarat brand very well. From hand-pleated silk wall coverings to mica-coated ceilings, and mirror and marble wall treatments – every detail is considered and exact. Seventeen custom chandeliers hang throughout the property – many suspended by rough cord rope – while one standout chandelier, made exclusively of wood, hangs in the second-floor bar.
Situated prestigiously just off 5th Avenue on West 53rd Street, the Baccarat building comprises 114 guestrooms and suites. All rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, seating areas, and custom jacquard linens by Mascioni. Behind the hand-painted French doors, white marble bathrooms boast glass-enclosed showers with oversized showerheads. A custom-designed Baccarat red enamel mini bar offers delights from the French gourmet house Fauchon.
Though the building extends over 550ft into the New York skyline, the hotel only occupies the first 12 floors. The remainder of the 50-storey tower is dedicated to 60 private residences, which are accessible through a separate entrance. The design for the residential interior is credited to New York-based Architectural Digest 100 member, Tony Ingrao. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill served as architects for the entire building.
The hotel possesses various restaurant and bar areas – most notably, modern French restaurant, Chevalier. Named after Baccarat’s long-time creative director Georges Chevalier, the restaurant is overseen by Michelin-starred executive chef Shea Gallante. Stephen Sills created the elegant setting for the street-level restaurant, which also has its own separate entrance. The Bar at Baccarat, just off the opulent Grand Salon, features barrel-vaulted ceilings, a 60ft bar and an outdoor terrace overlooking the iconic Museum of Modern Art. Throughout the hotel, drinks are served in a kaleidoscope of more than 15,000 pieces of Baccarat crystal stemware.
Baccarat has partnered with the ultra-prestigious skincare brand La Mer to create Spa de La Mer, its first spa in the United States. Adjacent to the spa, lavish day beds lie in alcoves surrounding the black-and-white marble-tiled pool. The walls surrounding the pool will feature the artwork of painter François Houtin, known for his detailed prints of utopian gardens. The forest scene is a tribute to the woods near Baccarat’s French-countryside factory.
The Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York will be managed by SH Group – part of private equity real estate firm, Starwood Capital Group. General Manager Andrew Turner will lead the Baccarat Hotel & Residences New York. Though this is the first hotel project and global flagship for Baccarat, properties in Rabat, Dubai and Doha are set to follow in the near future.